#ShapeTheDebate with Zakiya Mackey, #YesWeCode

Watch the third video in our #ShapeTheDebate series from #YesWeCode Deputy Director Zakiya Mackey.

For some - technology represents promise, opportunity, efficiency, and the ability to impact the world in which we live. For others - our working class families and other vulnerable populations – the tech industry poses a major threat to job stability, jeopardizing incomes and security, putting futures at risk, and potentially leaving folks behind.

As new technologies upend and disrupt more industries, all American communities are facing a serious job-creation challenge. Preparing our workers for the coming turbulence has proven to be a brutally difficult challenge. Workers and students who are female, or those who are nonwhite and non-Asian, are most at risk of being left behind.

Automation has already eliminated millions of manufacturing jobs in the United States and middle-class service workers in finance, retail, food, and transportation may be next.

We have to  come together to spread the education and training that Americans need to succeed in the emerging digital economy.

Question:

What policies would you pursue to address the racial wealth gap in America?

Answers:

  1. We need to  invest in the structures and systems – workforce development and educational programs – that ensure people who need good paying jobs the most have access to the tech industry.
  2. We need to invest in tech entrepreneurs who are female, nonwhite, or based in small towns and rural areas so that the tools we are developing reflect the diverse perspectives of their developers.
  3. We need to invest in leaders who recognize and account for the impact of technology on all aspects of our lives.
  4. Include everyone in the process.

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